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Need to Know: Who's up, who's down as Redskins end offseason program

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Need to Know: Who's up, who's down as Redskins end offseason program

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 18, 42 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

State of the Redskins

Here are some thoughts on the Redskins at the end of their offseason program. Note that the players have been in helmets and shorts and that only five of 11 practices have been open to the media.

—We still don’t know enough about the progress of Robert Griffin III to say if he will have a successful season. He has had good days in OTAs and minicamp like Tuesday and he has had some less than stellar days like Wednesday. He’s a work in progress and it’s impossible to say at this point how it will turn out. Stay tuned for Richmond and for the preseason.

—Griffin does seem to be more decisive than he did in the offseason practices and training camp last year. He rarely pumps the ball and looks confused. The question is whether he has advanced to being decisive enough to be effective in a real NFL game.

—While Griffin has had some issues, neither backup quarterback has made a compelling case that he could be the answer, either. Colt McCoy has been quite erratic, throwing a ton of interceptions. Kirk Cousins has been better but he hasn’t done anything to make me think that he could be the guy, either. It should be noted that both of the backup quarterbacks are working with other backup players so it may be a bit more difficult to shine.

—I get the feeling that Matt Jones will get a lot of touches when the season starts. He has been stepping in with the first team offense early and often. The coaches like the way he runs and the way he catches the ball. They will find ways to get him into games and get the ball in is hands.

—Trent Murphy could be the most improved returning player on defense. He has gotten stronger and he knows the game better. It’s hard to judge a player in his position without pads but he has been playing well.

—Again, it’s hard to tell in helmets and shorts but it looks like Brandon Scherff has work to do before he becomes a good right tackle and even further to go before he plays well enough to live up to his billing as the No. 5 overall pick. The good news is he’ll do the work. He is out there every day, working late with Bill Callahan. There usually have been other linemen with him but they vary from day to day. The constant is Scherff. He may not get there quickly, maybe not before the season starts, but he should get there.

Timeline

—It’s been 172 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 87 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 42; Preseason opener @ Browns 56; final cuts 80

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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